Are Dendrobium Orchids Hard to Grow

Are dendrobium orchids hard to grow?

Hi Robert,

 

Pink dendrobium orchid

HUGE Dendrobium loddigesii

Dendrobium orchids are not hard to grow if you follow these simple tips. I love these orchids because they tend to bloom in February when it’s winter in the US and the blooms can last up to 6 weeks. If the temperatures stay cool, they may bloom up to 3 times during the year. Dendrobium orchids grow summer through fall; they become dormant from the late fall to winter, and then flower during the winter and spring.

Light: Dendrobiums like lots of light, but no direct sun. They do well in morning sun but need indirect light in the afternoon.

Water: Allow the medium to almost dry out before watering. Always check the medium with your finger before watering. If it feels moist, do not water! Water in the morning so the leaves will be dry by night. How often you water depends upon the size of the pot, the type of pot (clay vs plastic, and the type of medium. Since Dendrobiums like to be in small pots as they mature you may have to water once or twice a week as the plant gets larger.  Use tepid water and never use water that has passed through a softener or distilled water. Water well and allow all excess water to drain out in the sink before returning the plant to its usual location.

Temperature: 65-75° F during the day and about 55-60°F at night. Try to keep the temperature even when the plant is in bud. Cold temperatures or drafts can cause flowers and buds to drop.

fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.:  Do not feed when the plant is in bloom. When your dendrobium is actively growing, use a balanced fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small. diluted to 1/4 the recommended strength weekly. Stop fertilizing in the late fall. If no buds appear by January try using a plant food high in phosphorous to encourage the flowering process.